News / Middle East

Widespread Twitter Outages in Turkey After PM Threatens Ban

FILE - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses his lawmakers in Ankara, Feb. 25, 2014.
FILE - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses his lawmakers in Ankara, Feb. 25, 2014.
Reuters
Twitter users in Turkey reported widespread outages on Friday, hours after Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan threatened to shut down access to the social media platform as he battles a damaging corruption scandal.
 
Some users trying to open the Twitter.com website were taken to a statement apparently from Turkey's telecommunications regulator (TIB). The statement cited four court orders as the basis for blocking the site, where some users in recent weeks have posted voice recordings and documents purportedly showing evidence of corruption among Erdogan's inner circle.
 
“Twitter, mwitter!,” Erdogan told thousands of supporters at a rally ahead of March 30 local elections late on Thursday, in a phrase translating roughly as “Twitter, schmitter!”.
 
“We will wipe out all of these,” said Erdogan, who has said the corruption scandal is part of a smear campaign by his political enemies.
 
“The international community can say this, can say that. I don't care at all. Everyone will see how powerful the Republic of Turkey is,” he said in a characteristically unyielding tone.
 
San Francisco-based Twitter said Thursday afternoon local time that it was looking into the matter and had not issued a formal statement. But the company did publish a tweet addressed to Turkish users instructing them on how to continue tweeting via SMS text message.
 
Twitter, which was originally invented as a text message-based network before it evolved into a Web-based multimedia platform, allows users to access stripped down versions of its service.
 
Turkish Internet users were quick to come up with their own ways to circumvent the block. The hashtag #TwitterisblockedinTurkey quickly moved among the top trending globally.
 
The disruption sparked a virtual uproar with many comparing Turkey to Iran and North Korea, where social media platforms are tightly controlled.
 
There were also calls to take to the street to protest, although some users equally called for calm.
 
Nazli Ilicak, a columnist who used to work for the pro-government Sabah newspaper described the move as “a civil coup” in an interview on broadcaster CNN Turk.
 
Latest Clash

 
Following his speech, Erdogan's office said in a statement that Erdogan was referring to what it called Twitter's failure to implement Turkish court orders seeking the removal of some links and that they may be left with no option but to ban the platform.
 
“If Twitter officials insist on not implementing court orders and rules of law ... there will be no other option but to prevent access to Twitter to help satisfy our citizens' grievances,” the statement said.
 
Thursday's apparent blocking was only the latest clash between Turkey's ruling party and social media companies including Google, Facebook and Twitter.
 
After a series of popular protests partly fueled by Twitter last summer, Erdogan slammed the service as “a scourge.” Shortly thereafter a government minister asked Twitter to establish an office in the country so that it could better communicate requests to take down content or hold the company accountable to Turkish law. Twitter did not respond to the request.
 
Erdogan said two weeks ago that Turkey could also ban Facebook and YouTube, which he says have been abused by his enemies after a stream of audio recordings purportedly revealing corruption in his inner circle emerged online.

You May Like

India PM Modi's Party Distances Itself From Religious Conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ozlam from: Turkey
March 20, 2014 9:39 PM
this scumbag is destroying my country. where is the US..?? you hypocrites..!! where are the sanctions on this Islamic scumbag...?? Where are all the bleeding hearts hypocrites from "Academia" - here you have a brutal Islamic State - oppressing Women and Minorities - no freedom of speech or expression of any kind... and you know all this... and you do NOTHING.!! Hypocrites.

In Response

by: Arne Wagenaar from: Gendt
March 23, 2014 5:49 AM
Why, did you believe that the US was doing anything for freedom and democracy, because that is what their propaganda tells you? Wake up mister. Only thing USA is interested in is their interests. Turkey happens to be a key ally they will not criticise or interfere. In Syria, yes, because that is an enemy and it fits in the US agenda to destabilise that regime. Don't hold your breath for help from the outside. You will have to solve it yourselves.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid